By: Tanya Edwards
Usually, it’s not great to be a turkey around Christmas time, but don’t tell that to Lurkey the turkey, the wild turkey that’s having a grand old time stalking residents in Pefferlaw.
Lurkey has become a local celebrity with folks posting photographs and tracking her whereabouts almost daily on the Pefferlaw – All Things Pefferlaw Facebook group page.
But while Lurkey is a source of entertainment for some, she’s a major headache for others.
Lurkey is sometimes aggressive in her attempts to solicit food, which has some residents thinking about asking Georgina Council to pass a by-law prohibiting residents from feeding wildlife.
Katrina Campbell has had several dodgy encounters with Lurkey after the hen decided she liked the Campbell driveway a little too much.
According to Ms. Campbell, Lurkey’s aggressive strutting freaked out her dog, who broke the backyard fence trying to get at the wild turkey.
When Ms. Campbell tried shooing Lurkey away, the bird became aggressive and ended up chasing Campbell’s mother down the driveway.
Lurkey’s next move was to trap Ms. Campbell in her car and block the vehicle from leaving.
Frustrated and concerned, Ms. Campbell called Animal Control and The Humane Society, both said there was nothing they could do unless the bird is hurt.
The solution they strongly suggest is for people to stop feeding Lurkey, so she will return to the wild where she belongs.
“We all know we should not feed wildlife,” says Ms. Campbell. “But human nature takes over and it’s a way to get close to the animal. So now we are stuck with her.”
“Just make sure she’s had her morning coffee and keep your fingers crossed she’s not in a bad mood!”
The Ontario Wildlife Management website strongly opposes feeding wildlife for many reasons; not only can they become aggressive and territorial, but they can also attract unwanted wildlife to your property.
When you create an artificial food source that wildlife becomes dependent on, they lose their natural fear of humans. Feeding a wild animal in an urban setting also increases the chance of them being hit by a vehicle.
It seems Lurkey’s 15 minutes of fame are over; maybe it’s time to be a good neighbour and let her return to the wild before someone gets hurt.